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Building defies definitionUdo’s ‘Anne of Green Gables’ house
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승인 2010.05.26  15:05:15
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▲ In homage to one of Canada’s most popular books, Anne of Green Gables, Han Yae Seok and her husband erected a replica of the fictional home from the novel. Photos courtesy Chocolate Castle by the Sea

To come across a destination that defies definition is the sort of novelty commonly sought after by travelers. One such definition-resistant place can be found on the island of Udo at Anne of Green Gables House. It is a promo-tional building for a museum of choco-late, built to replicate a famous, fictional building, and also serves as a gift shop and cafe, as well as a small museum of its own.

If the functions of the building con-fuse, so does its name. In English the building is called Chocolate Castle by the Sea, but the Korean name trans-lates as Red-Haired Anne’s House (or, to Romanize the Korean phonemes, “Bbalkan Meoli Aeneui Jib”), which is how the book “Anne of Green Gables” is known in Korea.

Anne’s House, established in 2003, was the creation of Han Yae Seok, who, along with her husband, co-owns this and various other buildings in Jeju and Korea, including Jeju’s Chocolate Museum. Indeed, the primary function of Anne’s House, or the Chocolate Castle by the Sea, said Kang Myung Hee, who works there, is to promote the Choco-late Museum. At this, she said, it is quite successful. Kang estimated that it draws in upwards of 100 visitors daily during the peak season and that some “visitors who come to the house, they taste the chocolate and afterwards they go to the Chocolate Museum.” The Chocolate Museum is in the south western quad-rant of Jeju Island.

The chocolates available at both the museum and at Anne’s House are hand-crafted, rich and exquisite. The quality of the hot chocolate is equally impres-sive. In addition to chocolate, typical cafe fare, such as coffee and tea, is also available.

Kang said that the house was designed and built to resemble Green Gables in Canada’s Prince Edward Island, which, according to the Parks Canada Web site, was Lucy Maud Montgomery’s setting inspiration when she wrote “Anne of Green Gables.”

The house does indeed bear some resemblance to the Canadian original. Even the choice of Udo as the location for Anne’s House shared this motiva-tion, Kang said, as Udo’s landscapes of rocky shoreline and outstretching farmlands are similar to those of Prince Edward Island. The house sits on Udo’s seashore facing a white, coral sand beach.

The Anne of Green Gables theme was inspired by Han’s love of Montgomery’s story, and the inside of the house reflects this as much as the outside does. To sit in the cafe is to be sur-rounded by Green Gables memorabilia and collectables, from rows of vintage dolls and posters to knick-knacks and magnets. Off-themed attractions can be found too here, such as fairy-tale dresses for customers to try on and perhaps wear as they drink their tea.

The second story of the building has two main rooms, one further dedicated to the Green Gables theme — and which features a first edition copy of “Anne of Green Gables” — and a second dedi-cated to woman writers generally. On the walls of this room are shelves of books as well as informational and pictorial posters showcasing the writers. Kang said that the room is a tip of the hat towards women similar to Mont-gomery.

Most recently, the second floor of the building has acquired a new function as well. Customers may now purchase postcards there, and the staff will send them to the desired locations.

Such multi-functional buildings are apparently something to expect with Han. She has a similar project on the island of Marado, except that there the theme is “Robinson Crusoe.” It is also a promotional building for the Chocolate Museum.

Han is currently traveling abroad, adding to her collection of chocolate-related items to populate her museums and themed houses.

Chocolate Castle by the Sea/Red-Haired Anne’s House
2512-5 Seokwang-ri, Udo-myun, Jeju.
Tel: 064-784-2171 (Korean only)

ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (
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